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2 min read 24.02.2022 190
Ibrahim Busari
Ibrahim Busari
Ibrahim is a fintech writer at AskWallet
Hacks to Save Money

Hacks to Save Money

The trick to saving money isn’t necessarily spending less; it’s learning how to spend your money better! Follow these tips and tricks to start saving cash from the moment you swipe your credit card at the checkout counter, all the way through to putting money away in savings every month. You’ll thank yourself later!

There are many ways to save money but it is not always easy to find the time or motivation to implement them all in your daily life. That’s why hacks can help you to save more than usual in some areas of your life and free your mind from unnecessary thoughts and concerns. Saving money has never been so easy! Here are some awesome money-saving tips which will make your life easier, save you time and effort, help you reach financial goals faster, and provide you with extra cash to put towards the things that matter most in your life!

Learn to budget and understand your finances

Budgeting is vital if you want to understand your finances, but it’s a discipline that often falls by the wayside when other things seem more urgent—like bills or rent payments. But whether you’re looking for a way to cut costs or put some money away in an emergency fund, creating a budget can help free up cash flow and allow you to feel more in control of your finances. The key is to find a system that works for you, so try out different approaches until one sticks. If automated savings apps aren’t your thing, there are plenty of other options like keeping a handwritten ledger or even just writing down each expense on paper before erasing them with an x when they're paid off. Just be sure to hold yourself accountable for every dollar spent.

Where are my expenses coming from? First, add up all of your regular monthly expenses (these would be bills such as rent or mortgage, car payments, and utilities) plus any irregular ones (the cable bill you forgot about until now). Next, list all sources of income: take-home pay; Social Security; alimony; child support; lottery winnings (yeah right!). Then subtract your expenses from your income: if anything is left over, congratulations! Put aside at least three months' worth of living expenses in an easily accessible place like a high-yield online savings account—it’ll serve as an emergency backup plan just in case life throws another curveball at you. Still, have extra cash?

A Monthly Budget 

We are sure you know that budgeting is a great way to get on top of your finances, and will make it easier for you to pay off debt and save money. But it can be tough—especially if you haven’t been disciplined in following a budget before. The most important thing is to start from scratch and start small. You want your budget to be realistic so you don’t give up, but there should also be room for expansion; always aim for progress rather than perfection. Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to build an entire financial plan at once. Instead, create a few benchmarks with which you can begin working towards financial freedom: paying down your credit card debt (if any), cutting spending in certain areas, or increasing income where possible. Take some time to figure out how much money comes into your life each month and how much goes out.

Create Saving Account

It’s not always easy to save cash, but with a good savings account, it can be a lot easier than you think. A great way to make sure your extra money is going where you want it is through a savings account that does things like pay interest or works with apps like Mint (or in conjunction with them). We recommend Bunq as a super-safe place for your hard-earned savings, but there are plenty of other great options out there so feel free to shop around and see what works best for you. You might find that some accounts have much better conditions than others, especially when it comes to rewards.

Get out of debt

If you’re stuck with a lot of debt, it can feel like you’ll never get out from under it. Making small changes in your spending habits, however, can help you chip away at that balance and pay off your debt more quickly. Here are five strategies to consider The first one is a financial game-changer:

  1. Track every coin
    Many people have goals they want to achieve – paying down debt, saving for retirement, or buying a house – but have no idea where their money goes each month. This makes it nearly impossible to plan for future expenses and saves, because they don’t know what their future needs will be; let alone how much income they need to reach those goals. When you track every penny, dollar, or euro (depending on where you live) that comes into your life (income) as well as goes out (expenses), getting rid of bad financial habits becomes easier because you become aware of them. You see where your hard-earned dollars are going – or not going.
     
  2. Cut down on discretionary spending
    Create a list of all your monthly expenses, separating them into two categories: Essential and discretionary. Once you have everything categorized, take stock of your discretionary spending and ask yourself if you really need that latte or weekly manicure? Can you cut out a gym membership or cable TV package without feeling deprived? You may be surprised at how many things on your list fall into one of these non-essential categories; once you realize that many items don’t bring any value to your life, it becomes easier to eliminate them from your budget.
     
  3. Save more
    If you don’t have any savings, you aren’t alone. In fact, over one-third of Americans have less than $500 in their savings accounts. An emergency fund is a separate pot of money – probably in an interest-bearing account – that can be used only for an unexpected event or circumstance, such as a medical bill or car repair. Think of it as insurance against life’s unexpected events and one of your best tools for making sure you don’t become part of that 33 percent who can’t cover an emergency expense.
     
  4. Negotiate your debt
    If you find yourself buried in credit card debt, one of your first moves should be to negotiate with your creditors for lower interest rates and/or lower monthly payments. The average European household has over $24,000 in credit card debt alone; if you’re among that number, then negotiating may be one of your best bets for getting out from under it.
     
  5. Consolidate your debt
    When you have multiple credit cards, it can be hard to keep track of all your balances and due dates, which makes managing debt a big challenge. One way to simplify things is by consolidating your debts onto one card with a low-interest rate or even transferring your balance onto a 0 percent promotional offer. Before you consolidate though, do some research and shop around for an appropriate option that gives you more control over your finances in exchange for lower interest rates; don’t sign up for automatic payments just because it’s easier.

Make a stash

Don’t just pile your cash into one big bank account—you need to make it work for you by making it accessible when you want and saving it until you need it. If you have enough capital, make a stash. It can be a savings account that rewards you for positive actions, like automatic deposits or making purchases with your debit card (or credit card) or even a simple piggy bank. By the way, many institutions nowadays offer “electronic piggy bank” services which automatically round up the amount of purchase and transfer part of the money to a special savings account. In some cases, this savings account earns monthly interest, but even if this does not happen, simply deducting a small percentage of the purchase into such a money box will help you accumulate a significant amount at the end of the year.

Put a spending limit on your card

The best way to stop overspending is to impose a spending limit on your card. This means you can only spend a certain amount of money before you have no more funds available until your next paycheck or direct deposit hits your account. Once you reach that amount, your card will not work at stores and gas stations until you receive more funds in your account. You won’t be able to fall into a credit card debt spiral if there’s nothing left for you to charge! Apps likewise set aside small amounts of money from your checking account every day—and then tell you how much it has saved you each month. If these savings don’t add up quickly enough, Automate Spend provides an additional layer of protection: It prevents purchases beyond a pre-set daily dollar amount (e.g., $100). And since it sends both push notifications and emails to remind you about those limits when they are approaching, it helps prevent unwanted purchases.

Cancel any unused subscriptions

There are many products and services you subscribe to that you no longer use—maybe it’s a magazine you picked up at an airport or a gym membership that expired last year. Most companies will allow you to cancel these subscriptions easily on their website, so it’s worth taking a look at all your recurring payments in one place; many apps like BillGuard can automatically detect these for you. It only takes a few minutes, but if each unused subscription saves $10 per month (it’s probably more), that could equal $120 per year. Which isn't bad for five minutes' work! Some mobile carriers also let you add things like Google Play Music family plan or Netflix packages onto unlimited data plans, which might be worthwhile as well.

Shop With Discount Cards

Shopping with discount cards and coupons can help you get better deals on groceries, electronics, travel, and more. These discount cards are offered by both large corporations and smaller businesses, like restaurants and grocery stores; many give free memberships. To take advantage of these offers, be sure to register for them online before shopping at participating locations. 

You may also want to set up price alerts or track your purchases using an app like Ibotta in the US (free on iOS and Android) or Rakuten in the EU. Just search for a store near you that offers a rewards program or promotion codes as well as coupon codes online. This will allow you to save while also building loyalty points. Another strategy is buying in bulk—it's not just good for stocking up on essentials, but it can result in much lower unit prices too. Even if it costs more upfront, think about how much you'll end up saving over time! And if all else fails: buy something nice for yourself and use the extra cash to pay down debt or build your savings account. But don't forget about other smart budgeting habits!

Use Money Saving Apps 

Most financial services have mobile applications that allow you to deposit checks and pay bills directly from your phone. Some, like Apple’s Wallet or Google Pay, are even more advanced – allowing you to store your IDs, loyalty cards and boarding passes for easy access at security checkpoints and on public transportation. If you want to save money on cell phone service, consider apps like Mint Mobile or Republic Wireless (which uses WiFi instead of cell towers) which can provide phone plans for less than $10 a month! You’ll also be able to control how much data you spend when using apps like Opera Max which help reduce data usage by up to 50%! You can also use the built-in features of the system on iOS and Android to save traffic.

Use Travel & Cashback cards 

Many people use their credit cards for everything, meaning they’re racking up hundreds in annual fees. If you want to cut costs, consider using a travel rewards card instead. These cards let you earn points for every dollar spent and often give out sign-up bonuses for new customers. While some of these cards may have higher interest rates, many offer rewards that more than offset what you’d spend on interest. 

At a minimum, check your current card's terms to see if it offers free trips or other perks that make your cash go further. For example, Chase Sapphire Preferred lets you redeem reward points at 1 cent per point when booking through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel site – which means those 100,000 bonus miles are worth $1,000 toward travel purchases. Just remember: It won't save you money unless you pay off your balance in full each month!

Credit cards offer many advantages, like fraud protection and rewards programs. But they also have disadvantages, namely: interest charges and fees. To avoid these costs and increase your savings potential, use cashback credit cards. They're not a new idea—they've been around for decades—but people are still discovering them every day. Instead of giving you rewards points, cash back cards give you cash when you make purchases at retailers who are affiliated with a certain program. Here are some of the best cashback credit cards you can get now: 
 

Capital One

Capital One cash rewards cards provide cashback advantages that reward you for existing transactions. You can pick a Capital One card that suits your requirements, whether you want to earn more on eating and entertainment with the Savor card or get a flat rate on all your everyday expenditures, such as petrol and retail. Every Capital One cashback credit card offers a percentage back on all qualified transactions, allowing you to get rewarded for every dollar you spend.
 

Wirex 

Wirex is an FCA licensed, a global leader in digital money solutions for personal use. Wirex Ltd offers its consumers in the EEA a debit Mastercard and a debit Visa card for those in APAC, currency exchange for individuals across the world. The more you spend with your Wirex card, the more you receive back in Cryptoback rewards. Every time you make a purchase, you may now earn up to 2% in Cryptoback rewards.
 

Wise

Wise (previously Transferwise) is a provider of worldwide peer-to-peer transfers that are quick and secure. It offers simple, fair, and convenient fee-free transfers. You may earn 3% cashback on up to ten mobile wallet purchases.
 

Blackcatcard

Blackcatcard is a mobile bank that offers both a rapid EU bank account and a Mastercard that is accepted worldwide. It outperforms its competitors in several ways, including no sign-up fees and the chance to earn either 2.2 percent yearly interest or 0.1 percent cash back on card purchases.
 

The FairFX Currency Card  

Fairfax is a cloud-based peer-to-peer payments platform that allows users to make simple, low-cost multi-currency payments through a single integrated system. With the FairFX Currency Card, you can lock in low rates in 15 major currencies, including euros and US dollars. Earn at least 3.5 percent cash back at some of the UK's most popular high street businesses, and buy Linked Cards to share money with friends, family, and helpers.
 

Curve

Curve is the simplest way to earn money back on your ordinary purchases. Get a never-ending supply of cashback deals from your favorite businesses and save money on common needs like food and travel. For the first 30 days, you will receive 1% cashback on all purchases.
 

N26

N26 is a neobank that provides some of the same services as a traditional bank but in a purely digital format. They have a lot to offer, from cash withdrawals at ATMs to international money transfers at affordable exchange rates. For Business Standard, Smart, and You accounts, the N26 card gives 0.1 percent cashback. Accounts with Business Metal earn a 0.5 percent cashback.
 

Pockit

Pockit is an app-based banking system that is available to everybody. Send money with a single click, acquire your own tap-and-pay contactless MasterCard, and pay in cash or through bank transfer. When you buy something from one of their Cashback Partners, whether online or in-store, the Cashback will be applied to your account within 60 days of the transaction date.
 

Satispay

Satispay is a  mobile app for iOS and Android that allows consumers to earn rewards at restaurants and cafes where they spend their hard-earned cash anyway. Saving, however, isn’t your only goal—you also get coupons, loyalty points, gift cards, and more simply by using Satispay while enjoying your favorite eateries. Plus, it’s free!
 

Atomic wallet 

A multi-currency crypto wallet. It is a lightweight, secure, and reliable cross-platform Ethereum wallet that supports over 500 coins. If you hold AWC in the wallet, you will get a 0.25-1% cashback for every exchange you made in the wallet.

Save Money is Possible!

A lot of people find it impossible to come up with enough cash for emergencies. No matter how much we make, unexpected expenses always seem to arrive, like a flat tire or broken water heater. That's why budgeting is so important—in fact, according to many financial experts, it's one of the best ways to stay on top of your finances. If you have an emergency fund already set up and stocked with at least a few months' worths of savings (ideally more), you won't feel panicked if something bad happens. And that's when rash spending can happen—people in dire situations often turn toward credit cards as a quick fix, which ends up causing more problems down the road.